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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 073-UUYE8-00; 22nd District Agricultural Association
PW ID# 761; Emergency Protective Measures
January 24, 2011
Governor’s Authorized Representative
California Emergency Management Agency
3650 Shriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95655
Re: Second Appeal – 22nd District Agricultural Association, PA ID: 073-UUYE8-00, Emergency Protective Measures, FEMA-1731-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 761
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This letter is in response to your July 30, 2009, letter which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the 22nd District Agricultural Association (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of $33,986 in funding for the cost of sheltering and feeding horses and livestock during the disaster event.
Wildfires swept through Southern California in October 2007, damaging and destroying several hundred acres of land. The 22nd District Agricultural Association (also known as the Del Mar Fairgrounds) was designated as an evacuation center by the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES) on October 21, 2007 and made available to local evacuees as well as evacuee-owned livestock (horses, goats, llamas, etc.). The Applicant incurred costs associated with providing bedding, feed, and supplies. Many of the owners remained with their animals either in their own motor homes or in the jockey quarters. FEMA prepared PW 761 for costs related to sheltering of horses and livestock during the disaster event. FEMA determined the costs ineligible and obligated PW 761 for zero dollars, because sheltering of livestock and horses in not eligible under FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) 9523.19, Eligible Cost related to Pet Evacuations and Sheltering dated October 24, 2007.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on January 28, 2009, requesting reimbursement of $33,986 in total funding. The Applicant argued that they were asked by OES to provide shelter to 2,400 horses, 400 dogs and over 2,000 people. The Applicant asserted that most of the livestock are not livestock in the traditional sense but are actually “pets” to their owners. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal stating the FEMA DAP 9523.19, only addresses domesticated animals, such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, or turtles that are traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on June 5, 2009 and the State transmitted it on July 30, 2009. The Applicant reiterates its request for reimbursement of costs related to sheltering and feeding of horses and livestock. However, the basis of the second appeal is not a challenge to the pet policy, but assertion of a threat to public health and safety. California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) asserted that the Applicant’s sheltering of the animals was necessary to prevent an imminent safety threat to law enforcement, the public, and disaster workers. If left abandoned the “loose” animals would have impeded fire suppression efforts.
Title 44 CFR § 206.225 (a)(3) Emergency Work, General, states that “In order to be eligible, emergency protective measures must: (i) Eliminate or lessen immediate threats to life, public health or safety or (ii) Eliminate or lessen immediate threats of significant additional damage to improved public or private property through measures which are cost effective.” Unlike other types of declared events, fires may present a situation where animals, freed by their owners or the fire, run wild and in their terror could harm the public and emergency responders who must enter the area during the event to address the peril. San Diego County OES designated the Del Mar fairgrounds as an evacuation center on October 21, 2007. The fairgrounds were one of the few facilities capable of handling substantial quantities of large animals in a safe manner. By providing shelter to the horses and livestock, the Applicant lessened the threat to the public and emergency responders. Loose horses and livestock would have hindered emergency response activities to save lives and protect property.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and determined that the cost for providing shelter, bedding, feed, and supplies is eligible for reimbursement. Accordingly, I am approving the second appeal. By copy of this letter, I request that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Acting Assistant Administrator
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX